The shares in your credit union are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), an arm of NCUA. Established by Congress in 1970 to insure member share accounts at federally insured credit unions, the NCUSIF is managed by NCUA under the direction of the three-person NCUA Board. Your share insurance is similar to the deposit insurance protection offered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
As a member of an insured credit union, you do not pay directly for your share insurance protection. Your credit union pays into the NCUSIF a deposit, and an insurance assessment, based on the total amount of insured shares and deposits in the credit union. Insured credit unions are required to deposit and maintain one percent of their insured shares and deposits in the NCUSIF. The NCUSIF is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.
Most properly established share accounts in federally insured credit unions are insured up to the Standard Maximum Share Insurance Amount (SMSIA), which is $250,000 as of 2013, but may be increased in the future. Recent legislation has increased the insurance coverage on certain retirement accounts, such as IRAs and Keoghs, up to $250,000.